Nashik, one of the most important pilgrim centers of Maharashtra is set on the banks of the sacred Godavari river. It is believed that Lord Rama stayed here for some time during his 14 years of exile. The temple town has over 2000 small and big temples and bathing ghats lining the banks of the river. Nashik is the venue of the holy Kumbh Mela, which is held once every 12 years. The city is also a famous educational and industrial center.
Ramkund: The sacred tank built-in 1696, by Chitrarao Khatarkar is believed to mark the site where Lord Rama and Sita used to bathe during their stay over here.
Muktidham Temple (7 kms.): The famous temple has a very unusual architecture. It is believed that visiting the shrine is like undertaking the pilgrimage of four sacred dhams.
Kalaram Temple: The 70 ft. high temple built in black stone in 1794, by Gopikabai Peshwa, resembles the famous Trimbakeshwar Temple and enshrines beautifully ornamented sandy black idols of Lord Rama, Sita, and Laxman. The temple is surrounded by several smaller temples like Vithal Temple, Ganapati Temple, and Maruti Temple.
Coin Museum: It was established by the Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies amidst scenic surroundings. The museum exhibits a well-documented record of the history of Indian numismatics, through photographs, artifacts, line drawings, replicas, and real coins.
Trimbakeshwar (39 kms.)
This important pilgrim site is famous for the temple of Trimbakeshwar and the source of the sacred Godavari river located nearby. The temple enshrines one of the twelve jyotirlingas in the country. A big fair is held on the occasion Shivratri. The massive Sinhasta fair or Kumbh Mela is also held here once in twelve years. According to mythological legends, when Amrit (the nectar of immortality) was recovered from the ocean, there was a battle between the gods and demons for it. During the fight, few drops of Amrit fell at Allahabad, Nashik (Trimbakeshwar), Haridwar, and Ujjain. Since then the Kumbh Mela is organized at these places, once every 12 years.
Shirdi (112 kms.)
This ‘abode’ of Sri Sai Baba is one of the most important pilgrim centers of the State. Sri Sai Baba, the great teacher, and saint lived and died here and is believed to be the incarnation of Guru Dattatraya. He preached religious tolerance and universal brotherhood and is revered by devotees of all faiths. His followers from all parts of India and abroad flock to the sacred shrine round the Shirdi Sai Baba year. The main temple has a life-like marble statue of the saint installed on a high pedestal. Thursdays are of special importance, as on this day Sai Baba attained Nirvana’. Annual fairs are held here on Ramnavami, Guru Purnima, and Dusshera. Other places of importance are the Gurusthan, the Kandoba Temple, Shani Mandir, Narsimha Mandir, Changdev Maharaj Samadhi, and the Sakori Ashram. Kopargaon (15 kms.) is the nearest railhead for Shirdi.
Bhandardara (80 kms.)
The quiet little hill resort is dominated by Mt. Kalsubai, the highest peak (1,646 meters) in the Sahyadri range. The Wilson Dam is probably the only one to be constructed at a height of 150 m. and the Arthur lake is the largest and loveliest lake to be situated at such a height. It is 185 kms. from Mumbai and 191 kms. from Pune. The nearest railhead is at Igatpuri (45 kms.).
Jawhar (60 kms.)
A beautiful hill resort 180 kms. from Mumbai is also known as the ‘Mahabaleshwar of Thane district’. The nearest railhead is at Igatpuri (61 kms.).